Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Mark Shaw's open letter to local press asks 'Respect our Workforce'

County Councillor and Cabinet Member for Transportation, Mark Shaw, wrote an open letter to local press this week, to bring attention to the increasing problem of incidents of violence or dangerous behaviour aimed at the Transport for Buckinghamshire workforce. Read Mark's letter in full below.

Everyone deserves to feel safe at work. Whether you work at an office, a shop, or on a work site, the only thing you should be worrying about when you leave the house in the morning is whether you definitely have your keys and lunch. Unfortunately, some of our workforce at Transport for Buckinghamshire (TfB) has to worry about whether they will be abused, attacked, or put at risk by someone’s dangerous driving when they are just trying to do their jobs. 

We are launching our Respect our Workforce campaign this month to draw attention to some of the worst incidents of abuse aimed at TfB workers, and encourage a change in attitudes to people in service industries like ours.

In the last year, workers at TfB have reported incidents that would make your hair curl. A civil enforcement officer had paint sprayed in their face when trying to move on a driver who had parked his van in the middle of the road; customer service officer in our contact centre was subjected to racist abuse over the phone; an operative working on the road had to jump out of the way as a driver ignored the road closure and drove through the works at speed. These are not isolated incidents – the ‘drive through’ issue in particular is frighteningly common, and the disregard shown for the safety and wellbeing of our workforce is becoming a big concern.

All of our workers out on the roads are there to do a job, and without them, the roads would be less safe. Instances like those above will not be tolerated by us, and our campaign has the full support of Thames Valley Police. Road workers are perfectly within their rights to phone the police, who will take action against offenders wherever necessary, if they are abused, threatened, or endangered on the job. Just think – would you put up with this?

Respect our Workforce Campaign Poster